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Cross country: Girls place five runners in top 15, finish second

Visitation nearly posted a perfect team score in winning the girls title with 20 points at last Tuesday's first Rogers Invitational at Fox Hollow Golf Club in St. Michael.

But pacing the rest of the seven-team field with its top team finish of the year was Farmington, which placed five runners in the top 15 while pulling away from Benilde-St. Margaret's, 53-102, in the battle for second place.

Leading the Tiger charge was freshman Maricia Pacheco, who completed the 4,000-meter course in 16 minutes, 41 seconds, to place fifth out of 54 runners. Just three spots back was sophomore teammate Maria Kiminski, who came in at 16:52.

Bailey Opsal just missed sneaking into the top 10 with a 12th-place time of 17:11 and eighth-graders Sofia Chadwick (13th, 17:14) and Victoria Jacoby (15th, 17:27) rounded out the varsity counting five.

Morgan Medved (18th), Natalia Sitzman (27th), Marissa Stewart (31st) and Maricella Pacheco (40th) also ran for the Tigers.

"In comparing all the runners' times over the season, there has definitely been improvement in race times each week, and improvements since last year's meets," coach Heidi Revels said. "Having such a young team that continues to improve is exciting for our girls program."

Fenske 2nd in 16:24

A spread of over two minutes among runners one through five kept the Tigers out of the boys team race, but returning state qualifier Elliot Fenske gave the Farmington faithful something to cheer about in the individual competition.

The senior stayed within striking distance of Rogers standout Caleb LeClaire throughout the 5,000-meter race and finished six seconds off the pace in a season-best time of 16:24.

Rogers placed five runners in the top 16 while edging Blaine, 53-65, in the team race. Farmington was fifth with 94 points, three behind fourth-place St. Paul Central.

Senior Carl Elmer paced the rest of the Farmington pack, coming in 18th out of 50 runners in 18:03. Ben Olson followed with a 22nd-place time of 18:22, Dan Block was 23rd in 18:21 and Adam Wallenta finished fifth for the team and 29th overall in 18:35.

"Had five in under 18:35, which is definite improvement for us. Need to get some guys into the 17s to compete well in the conference race," coach Keith Revels said. "We have two weeks to go before the Missota meet, so the clock is ticking."

Lincoln Kirchoff (32nd), Alec Wilson (35th), Justen Rees (42nd) and Josh Ruthenbeck (49th) completed the varsity nine.

The Tigers competed again Tuesday at the Shakopee Invitational. Results can be found online at